Animal Man #16 Review

Animal Man #16 Review

Beware Green Lantern’s light! (And giant tree men)

Animal Man #16

Jeff Lemire delivers the fourth part in his epic Rotworld storyline, and this one is all about the massive action. With Steve Pugh and Timothy Green II continuing their great work, Lemire throws in some big moments that will keep anyone interested to see how it all ends.

For those of you wondering if the title has regained its mojo, be prepared to be disappointed. For now we must accept that all the excellent character work and family drama the book has been built upon will be out of the way until Rotworld is over. That isn’t to say that the issue is dull, quite the contrary. As an action book this issue excels in delivering an interestingly epic fight, which is only a warm up for a promising confrontation next issue. Having Blackbriar Thorn turn up to attack our heroes allows Steve Pugh to really sink his teeth into an action scene. His work continues to be expressive, kinetic and visually compelling. Watching Buddy in action is a delight in Pugh’s hands and his work is the highlight of the book.

The actual narrative is well paced and Lemire’s script is punchy in places. But it’s just one extended fight scene really. The exposition is a little heavy handed when dealing with the Green Lantern, but it is a necessary component to the progression of the plot. The cliffhanger is predicted in advance, but still has impact due to the exciting potential of the future conflict. Lemire continues to limit the characterisation of Buddy’s little gang as they just read as one dimensional characters who are there for the action only. In fact Constantine’s fate doesn’t have the intended impact due to this lack of characterisation. Even Buddy doesn’t get much to do other than fight.

The plot elements that focus on Maxine have become a little less compelling. Those elements suffer from the fact we know how it all plays out, but at least Lemire tries to deliver the scenes with a sense of tension. This hindsight we readers have of Maxine’s fate wasn’t a problem in previous issues, but it all seems a little overwrought now. Timothy Green’s pencil work is clean and in good contrast to Pugh’s. However his take on Maxine’s horrific form is a little flat. It has no visual impact, which is a shame as the rest of his work on the issue is solid.

So, as Rotworld continues we are given a massive action packed issue that moves the plot forward and has a few big moments. It is entertaining and looks great due to Pugh’s work. However this epic is lacking the depth and complexity the title usually delivers. Therefore the high stakes lack the emotional context to make you care about any of it.

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Great action and Pugh’s art. Paper thin supporting characters and a lack of emotional depth damage the whole narrative
Rating
50%

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I'm a budding writer of comics, films and television (got to keep my options open). I try to love both Marvel and DC equally, watch as many good films as I can and walk my dog three times a day.